Outdoor stairs often serve more than just a functional purpose. In these architectural projects, this utilitarian element also becomes an aesthetic feature. A detail that enhances the overall design or even creates a focal point, visible from afar. Designed by some of the world’s most innovative and talented architects, these houses, cabins, and sprawling retreats feature gorgeous outdoor areas that include at least one staircase. Here, you can admire the creativity of architecture firms who find ingenious ways to transform an ordinary element into a striking design detail.
Placed on the exterior of a building, outdoor stairs sometimes showcase a glimpse of the inventiveness of the entire project. For example, a minimalist, brutalist-style rectangular house with an external staircase made of light green metal, that wraps around the building to add a sculptural accent to the architectural design. This house features a rock formation indoors, carefully preserved by the architects. A rustic stone house in Spain boasts a contemporary Corten steel volume that houses a staircase and large openings. Another rural house in the Alps features a modern concrete staircase that complements the dwelling’s wood log walls.
Some outdoor stairs are even more dramatic. One house features concrete slabs that lead from the ground floor to the top level and double as a garden and home for potted plants. A farmhouse retreat boasts imposing wood stairs that divide two asymmetric concrete and wood volumes. A 1954 house was renovated and transformed with a metal “cage” that surrounds the stone walls. This structure contains floating stairs and a spiral staircase that leads to the roof. Over time, plants and vegetation will climb on the metal structure to envelop the house in a green blanket.